James - Pleased To Meet You (2001)

In this time of economic uncertainty, high unemployment, pop culture run amok and general mass hysteria, it’s nice to know that there’s always James. Five minutes of James and everything is better. Five minutes of James can balance the national budget, provide jobs and healthcare for all, and inspire Kim Kardashian to go back to school and find the biophysicist within. Don’t believe me? That’s fine. You don’t have to take my word for it. Instead, you can watch the testimonials given by the beneficiaries of James’s healing qualities in this strangely affecting video for their single “Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)”, from the Manchester band’s 2001 album Pleased To Meet You. The cleverness of the video is one thing – getting random folks on the streets of New York City to both “testify” and sing along to a song that I can’t imagine any of them had heard prior to their fateful meeting with a camera crew. But the timing of it – just months before 9/11 – haunts the video; and frankly, everything that’s happened since – the war, the economic collapse, George W. Bush legitimately winning a second term in office – also haunts the video. My personal favorite moment is the old couple on the street at about 0:58 singing happily to each other “We’re insured.” They look so happy! You can’t underestimate the healing power of that moment. I feel frickin’ awesome already. Thank you, James! A thousand times, thank you. All six or seven of you!